A woman who used to be in charge of a non-profit development agency in East Orange New Jersey was recently ordered to serve 5 years in NJ State Prison for stealing nearly $400K from a low-income housing project.
The 65-year-old defendant formerly served as executive director of the East Orange Revitalization and Development Corporation. While running the non-profit group between 2005 and 2010, the defendant stole funds from a housing project known as the Princeton Estates Phase II Project. The project was a joint venture funded by the non-profit agency and private investors.
Although the housing was ultimately completed, the private company had to finance the bulk of it because so much of the necessary funding had gone missing.
According to prosecutors in the case, the defendant used the stolen money to pay for an extravagant lifestyle. Prosecutors said that the defendant’s purchases over the years included vacation trips, hotel stays while gambling in casinos, expensive jewelry, and a refurnishing of her personal residence in Orange, NJ.
Theft charges were filed against the defendant after investigators determined that she had embezzled the money. The investigation included the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General.
Now the defendant has been sentenced to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. The sentence was handed down by an Essex County superior court judge after the defendant pleaded guilty to the theft charge in November 2014.
The plea deal included a stipulation that Essex County prosecutors drop criminal charges against the suspect’s twin brothers. The brothers were facing charges of embezzlement and money laundering in the case.
For further information about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Ex-Director of East Orange Non-Profit Sentenced to 5 Years for Stealing $380K.”